In its search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI might have missed several rooms, including a closet and a “hidden room” in Donald Trump’s residence.
That’s according to a new ABC News report that suggests more documents may still be at Trump’s Florida estate, almost two years after federal officials recovered more than 300 files from Trump’s possession, some of them highly sensitive.
One of the rooms, a closet, was locked on the day of the search. When FBI agents couldn’t readily find the key, they opted not to break it open.
Sources told ABC they believe Trump had the lock changed while an attorney he’d hired was occupied in another part of the property, looking for documents there. Prior to the search, Trump’s lawyers testified that they’d turned over all of the sensitive documents in Trump’s possession ― a claim that turned out to be false.
Trump also had a “hidden room” adjacent to his bedroom that went un-searched, sources told ABC. A small door leading to the room was reportedly concealed that day “by a large dresser and a big TV.”
A spokesperson for Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.
If the report is true, securing another search warrant wouldn’t be a simple affair. First the feds would have to show up-to-date evidence that the rooms they missed currently contain criminal evidence.
As MSNBC legal blogger Jordan Rubin explains, “Going before a judge and saying ‘we messed up a year and a half ago’ wouldn’t cut it on its own.”
In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, stacks of boxes are seen in a bathroom at former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. (Photo by U.S. Department of Justice via Getty Images)
The former president has been charged with 37 felonies related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, willful retention of national defense information and making false statements.
The indictment says the stolen classified documents in Trump’s possession “included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”
Three more felonies were tacked on in an additional indictment a month later, accusing him of ordering Mar-a-Lago employees to delete incriminating security camera footage before it could be reviewed by a federal grand jury.
The trial ― one of four major criminal cases involving Trump ― is tentatively scheduled to begin this May, though Trump’s lawyers are attempting to push that back.
Another case, related to Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, is set to begin March 4. No trial date has been set for the state charges Trump faces in Georgia for attempting to subvert the election there, but Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has requested it begin Aug. 5.